Important: The faculty sponsor (not CSME, CSME's Director, or any CSME staff) is the first person responsible for assisting a visiting scholar in determining the type of visa required.
The "Short Term Scholar" J-1 visa category is used for international visitors who plan to stay in the US six months or less, and will not renew the visa beyond six months. The advantage to the "Short Term Scholar" J-1 visa category is eligibility to return to the US at anytime for participation in another J-1 program. The disadvantage is the visitor cannot stay in the US even one day beyond six months.
The "Research Scholar" J-1 visa category is used for visits expected to be six months or more. The advantage is the visitor can apply for extension of the J-1 visa while in the US, not to exceed a total of five years. Extensions are subject to a review of research progress by the faculty sponsor and IU department. Approval from the scholar's home institution is required for extension (except from independent researchers). Proof of sufficient finances is required. The disadvantage is after returning home at the end of the research program, the visitor may have to wait at least 24 months before participating in another J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program. Wait requirements may vary by country.
If the visitor's visit to the US is no more than 15 days, a DS-2019 (J-1 visa) is not required. The visitor should use the IU letter of invitation to request a B-1/B-2 visa (Visitor for Business/Pleasure) at a US Embassy or US Consulate in their home country.
If the visitor requires a J-1 visa, the faculty sponsor must send CSME the following details [22 items total]:
If the scholar will live in a second city (besides Bloomington) for more than a brief visit to conduct research at another US university, arrangements should be made in advance to facilitate visa transfer between institutions. The visa transfer process is simplified if this is discussed before the DS-2019 is prepared. The DS-2019 application should be processed through the first university and both IU and the other university should be listed on the DS-2019 form.
The scholar must arrive in the US and visit the IU Office of International Services (for SEVIS data entry) within 30 days of the date listed as the arrival date on the DS-2019 form. IU expects the visitor to visit the IU Office of International Services within 1-3 days of arrival in Bloomington.
J-1 visa holders can leave the US at any time before the DS-2019 departure date and up to 30 days after this date. J-1 Research Scholars, except Short Term Scholars, can seek visa extension before the DS-2019 departure date.
If the scholar’s financial support is outside Indiana University, provide proof such as a copy of a bank statement showing sufficient personal funds. If support is from an agency, university, business or government, submit a letter on official stationery certifying financial support and specifying the amount of support in US dollars and the dates covered.
US law requires visa applicants to pay a fee to the US government before a visa can be issued by the US Embassy or Consulate. Indiana University Office of International Services will send fee payment instructions when the approved DS-2019 form is ready.
The DS-2019 form number is required to pay this fee. The scholar must take a receipt showing payment of the fee when they go to the US Embassy or Consulate for their personal interview. A receipt can be printed if payment is made via the internet.